While in California, I had the coolest experience. The. Coolest.
I got a tattoo at Shamrock Social Club by the one-and-only Dr. Woo.
I’ve loved his work for so long, and double-tap on every one of his Instagram posts. His client list is wildly impressive, and if you aren’t familiar with his work, please immediately click here and spend the next hour being amazed by his skills.
Oh hi, you’re back. Amazing, right?!
When my dad died, I knew that I wanted to get a tattoo in memory of him and the only person I wanted to do it was Dr. Woo. Appointments are difficult to get, but after four hours and over one thousand calls, I had an appointment for April 20th. (Please note: I made the appointment in early October. Yeah. That far in advance.)
April 20th rolled around and I was so so so excited and nervous. We showed up way too early, had pizza and beer down the block to kill time, and then super casually tried to take pictures in front of Shamrock.
Dr. Woo was so chill and friendly, with no trace of an inflated ego that someone with his skill and lengthy waiting list could understandably cultivate. What was most impressive was his ability to translate a couple of words into a detailed drawing. I used maybe 10 words (including abstract-ish and constellation-y) to describe what I wanted. Yet, somehow, when he was done drawing, he had nailed exactly what I was looking for.
I don’t talk about my dad much here- or anywhere- which is not to say that I don’t think about him every single day. I miss him more than words can begin to express. When I look at my arm and the paint roller shaped constellation it now bears, it makes me think of him and the stars and connectivity of everything- both seen and unseen.
Neil deGrasse Tyson has a quote that sums it up beautifully:
The atoms of our bodies are traceable to stars that manufactured them in their cores and exploded these enriched ingredients across our galaxy, billions of years ago. For this reason, we are biologically connected to every other living thing in the world. We are chemically connected to all molecules on Earth. And we are atomically connected to all atoms in the universe. We are not figuratively, but literally stardust.
Did it hurt? No.
Did I almost pass out in the middle of the session because my blood sugar dropped suddenly? Yes. Dr. Woo said it’s actually pretty common and was really understanding about the whole thing.
Would I do this again? In a heartbeat. It was a great experience and I have a lifetime to enjoy his artwork.
No big deal but Mark Mahoney (another tattoo legend and the owner of Shamrock Social Club) complimented my jacket and we chatted for a few minutes. #brushmahshouldersoff